Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Am I a sexist reader?

This thought started as I finished a book I had labored to make it through. A book that was good enough for me to finish but bad enough to not want to continue the series. Bad enough to not even want to mention the title and write a review.* As I finished this sour novel, I realized that March is Women's History Month.

So, I had to stop myself and seriously wonder, am I a sexist reader? Do I only enjoy male authors? My hypothesis is yes, I prefer male authors. Let's see if the data proves that.

My 2008 Reading Log says:

Total novels read = 48 (plus 3 that were unfinished)
Total novels by male authors = 34 (plus 2 that were unfinished)
Total novels by female authors = 14 (plus 1 that was unfinished)

Average male author net worth = 71% (without the 2 unread books)
Average female author net worth = 67% (without the 2 unread books)

Some other interesting tidbits. Even if I remove the four Harry Potter books, the female author net worth drops only 1%. But if I drop the four S. M. Stirling books, I drop 4% on the male author net worth. And if I remove the non-fantasy books, the range widens a bit to 75% for male authors and 64% for female authors.

Where does this leave me? I'm not sure. Based on my gut reaction, I have very few female authors I enjoy. J. K. Rowling. Karen Traviss. Karen Miller. But that's about it. I enjoy others, sure, but just not as much. But when it comes to male authors, I can rattle off several names that I enjoy. S. M. Stirling. Patrick Rothfuss. Anton Strout. Jim C. Hines. Joe Abercrombie. And I could list even more if I wanted to.

But based on my numbers just from last year, there isn't much of a difference between male and female authors. I guess in the end, my hypothesis doesn't prove itself. I'm not a sexist reader. I do balance my reading, to some degree, between male and female authors. I think my hypothesis was flawed in fact, by my recent sour reading.

What are your thoughts? Are you a sexist reader? Do you prefer male or female authors?

* I'm still considering the review. I just haven't decided yet.

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